8 Best Tip Jar WordPress Plugins
It‘s not easy being a content creator. With the internet, your theoretical reach is unlimited, but then so is everybody else‘s. The competition is fiercer than it ever was before, the amount of high-quality content available for free is staggering, and the traditional ways of reaching the audience and monetizing one‘s talent and hard work are less and less efficient and accessible.
Official publications (albums, books, comics, software) may be expensive for many fans, but audiences are grateful for what they get from content creators, and are generally happy to reward them. Even the ones who offer their work for free. With a tip jar WordPress plugin they get a way to do exactly that.
Tip Jar WP is an inexpensive and easy way to set yourself up for donations. It comes with solutions for one-time and recurring donations out of the box, and all in a single custom block. The plugin does not store any personally identifiable information on your donors, making it fully GDPR-compliant. Their e-mail addresses are the only data stored, and they can be erased using WordPress‘s in-built processes. The EU is serious about data protection, and if you wish to know more about GDPR, you are in good hands.
The Tip Jar WP plugin itself is free, but the developers collect a 1% per-transaction fee on top of Stripe fees. Your donors can use Stripe, Google Pay, Apple Pay, or credit cards safely. They can also choose to pay in their own currency, and even send you a note alongside the donation. You will also need an SSL certificate for this plugin to work. If you’re not sure how to get one, we have a whole article dedicated to SSL certification.
The online independent creator support service Buy Me a Coffee also offers a tip jar WordPress plugin which encourages your visitors to become fans and paying supporters of your work. Your visitors can donate without leaving your website, or visit your Buy Me a Coffee page where you can sell extra content and memberships to them.
The service and the plugin integrate with your PayPal or Stripe account, and support payments from credit and debit cards, Paypal, Apple Pay and Google Pay. You are limited in donation amounts, though (you can only get multiples of $3) and, while the plugin itself is free, Buy Me a Coffee charges an additional 5% on top of PayPal and Stripe fees, and you also need an account with them.
A donation service geared towards independent projects, Ko-Fi is a free alternative to ad monetization. The plugin supplies you with a shortcode which adds a Ko-fi donation button to any widget-ready area. You can customize the button title, text and colour. You also need a Ko-fi account.
While Ko-fi itself is free and does not even take fees, payment processor‘s fees still apply. The basic version of the plugin does not support recurring donations, but a paid version of the original service, Ko-fi Gold, does.
PayPal Donations is a free plugin which gives you a clean and simple donations widget, all set up and ready to go upon installation. It offers some customization options, but if you don‘t want to bother with customization you can have a fully functional tip jar with little more than two clicks of the mouse.
Insomuch as customization options are concerned, you can choose the default currency and donation amount, a custom “thank you“ page for your donors, and the look of the donate button. If you don‘t like PayPal‘s button, you can choose your own. The plugin, as the name suggests, only collects donations through PayPal. If you are unable or unwilling to use PayPal, this plugin is not for you.
In case you prefer your donations in cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency Donation Box might be right up your alley. This free plugin only needs your coin wallet address for each cryptocurrency to work. It supplies you with a shortcode you can place on any page, as part of any post, or embed into a sidebar. A quick QR code scan or click of a button and your visitors can send cryptocurrencies your way.
The plugin accepts over 20 major cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, IOTA, and others. The plugin is free and collects no fees.
GiveWP is a fundraising plugin primarily designed for charities, but you can easily use it as your tip jar plugin of choice. Its free version still contains a slew of advanced features. It comes with multiple payment gateways, including Stripe and PayPal, with others available with addons. You can use its donation forms anywhere on your website, with the forms adopting theme attributes. The donation forms themselves are flexible enough, offering multiple donation amounts or custom amounts, funding goals, and much more.
Charitable is a free plugin designed for non-profits which nonetheless offer all the necessary functionalities for a tip jar. You can use it to create an unlimited number of collection campaigns, and allow your users to fund your individual projects. The donations forms come with suggested or custom amounts, and can be embedded on any page. It is GDPR-compliant, allowing you to set up a Privacy notice, and supporting personal data erasure with WordPress.
The plugin has a free version and premium addons, and charges no fees. The plugin‘s free version only supports one-time donations, but recurring donations and many other features are available with paid extensions.
With Donorbox, you get a flexible solution for your donation forms. This plugin supports multiple donation forms with custom fields, colours, and logos. Donorbox‘s forms support preset and custom value donations, one-time or recurring payments, and integrates with Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
The forms can be embedded into pages, or hidden as pop-ups behind donate buttons. The plugin uses Stripe to handle credit card information encryption and storage, and processes all payments either through Stripe or PayPal, meaning that their fees apply. This is in addition to a monthly 1.5% fee charged by the plugin.
This concludes our list of WordPress plugins. But which one is right for you? If you are a PayPal user, why not try PayPal donations? If you want a more complex solution with more payment options, perhaps Tip Jar WP is for you. If you are already using an independent creator support platform, maybe Ko-Fi or Buy Me a Coffee are best for you. If you are looking for something more complex altogether, you can try one of the plugins designed for non-profits, which offer a broader array of options. Prefer your tips in crypto? There‘s a plugin for that, too. In any case, be careful to peruse each plugin‘s feature list and choose the one for you.